Friday, February 1, 2002

How the Palm i705 stacks up against the RIM BlackBerry

When it comes to attachments, the BlackBerry allows for forwarding and very limited viewing using third-party software. With the Palm i705, on the other hand, you can install the DataViz Documents to Go Professional and Adobe Acrobat Reader for Palm OS bonus software. These will allow you to view, edit, and share Word and Excel documents, and view and share PowerPoint presentations and PDF files. You can view many other extension types, too, via other Palm partner solutions such as Adobe, Ansyr, Aportis, BCL Computers, Equinox ActiveNet, and FirePad. And, you can use other attachment-management products, including those that work with Microsoft Office, using an additional purchase product, Quickoffice, from Cutting Edge Software.

If you enjoy Instant Messaging, the Palm i705 also has AOL Instant Messenger bundled with it. Instant Messaging is available on the BlackBerry through AOL. In fact, the little AOL messaging device you can buy from AOL is a variant of the BlackBerry.

The BlackBerry only has a few third-party enterprise applications available. The Palm i705 can access enterprise applications via wireline and soon via wireless access from such companies as SAP, Oracle, Siebel, Remedy, Computer Associates, Sybase, Lotus, PeopleSoft, Peregrine, and SalesLogix.

With the Palm i705, you can access the Internet via a Web browser, Web clippings, AvantGo, or OracleMobile. Web access with the BlackBerry is through OracleMobile, MobileClips, GoAmerica's Go.Web, and PocketGenie from WolfeTech.

Breaking it down

That's a lot of information to absorb, so as promised, here's a breakdown of how the Palm i705 compares to the RIM BlackBerry 957.

Table A shows the product specifications comparison chart.

Table A: Product specifications
SpecPalm i705RIM BlackBerry 957
Operating systemOpen, standardProprietary
ConnectivityIntegrated wireless and wirelineIntegrated wireless only
Microprocessor33 MHz Motorola Dragonball VZ32-bit Intel 386
End-to-end encryptionDESX3DES
SecurityDevice passwordDevice password
NotificationTone, Vibrate, Dual color LED On-screenTone, Vibrate, LED On-screen
ExpansionFlexible, dual plug & play expansion slot supports SDIO and SD & MMC cards for additional memory, applications, images, video clips, backup capability, and more.Limited
PortsIrDA (infrared), USB-certified Universal ConnectorSerial only
Flash memory8MB5MB
Optional memory/storageYes, 128MB SD/MMC cards are available now. 256MB, 512MB, and eventually 1GB cards are expected later this year.None
Battery typeInternal rechargeable Lithium-PolymerInternal rechargeable Lithium Ion
Battery lifeApprox. 1 weekApprox. 1 week
Size (inches LxWxD)4.65 x 3.06 x 0.614.6 x 3.1 x 0.70
Weight (inc. battery)5.9 ounces5.3 ounces
User interfaceIcons and text menusIcons and text menus
Data inputThumb-operated Palm Mini-Keyboard, Enhanced on-screen tap keyboard, Graffiti writing, Jot, Palm Portable Keyboard, Infrared port (beaming)Device keyboard only
Desktop softwareSupports Windows & Mac (thru desktop sync)Supports Windows only
Out-of-the-box applicationsPalm OS PIM functionality, including:Calendar, Address book, Task list, Memo pad, Calculator, Expense reporting, ClockBasic organizer software
Bundled softwareDataViz Documents to Go Professional Edition, Adobe Acrobat Reader for Palm OS, AOL Instant Messenger, MGI PhotoSuite Mobile Edition, and Palm ReaderNone